[CT Birds] Yesterday's IBA Meeting with DEEP

Kathy Van Der Aue kathyvda at gmail.com
Wed Oct 14 09:53:54 EDT 2015

I thought the meeting went well.  Rob Klee (Commissioner), Susan Whalen
(Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Protection), Rick Jacobsen (Director
of the Wildlife Division) and staff from Hammonasset were in attendance
along with various representatives from the birding community.

DEEP is still enthusiastic about the opening of communications with the
birding community and Susan Whalen plans to task someone to monitor CTBirds
for issues involving the parks.  We discussed educational signage for the
new nature center at Hammonasset, even some to put up in the near future
showing renderings of the finished project to try and let the public know
what all the mess will become in the end. The project is ahead of schedule
and may even be finished in April, depending on the winter weather. They
know they need to revisit the Silver Sands improvements, do more studies
and so forth.  Susan Whalen said "the plans are on paper still and we have
time to revise them."

As to the overuse of the park, the party with DJ last week was a fundraiser
for the YMCA.  Loud music is NOT allowed and they are asking us to help
them by reporting perceived infractions to one of the numbers found on this
link (depending on what it is):
http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2690&q=322416&deepNav_GID=1511  "If
you see something, say something."  All permits are reviewed and signed off
on by the Wildlife Division as well as others.

It seems the fighting kite people somehow got in again and left kite
strings all over the marsh.  They did not apply for a permit and went to a
far end of the park where patrols didn't see them.  They are very eager for
people to report anything untoward as they will prosecute (especially these
kite people, I gather).

I remain optimistic about the fresh transparency we have been trying to
foster.  Despite the fact that we are relatively few and park goers are
many, the DEEP officials seem to know that we speak for the wildlife, a
portion of their mandate that cannot speak for themselves, and they appear
to welcome this input.

Kathy Van Der Aue
Southport, Connecticut
Visit my Blog at http://naturaliststable.wordpress.com

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